La Marzocco Espresso Machines »
Whether or not their competition admits it, La Marzocco's influence on the espresso world is unprecedented. Double-boilers and saturated group heads are just a couple of the technological innovations they have brought to the masses. Their espresso machines are well-known for their workmanship and durable build, crafted to handle the highest volume environments without compromising on quality.
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$53.00Hario's stainless steel water kettle, the V60 Buono, has been spotted popping up in coffee houses and the kitchens of baristas for some time now. A detailed search on the web will reveal, for the moment at least, that the Buono seems to be widely accepted as the most useful pouring kettle available. What makes this kettle so popular amongst pour-over enthusiasts? Several reasons stand out.
First, the thin pouring spout enables greater pouring precision as well as a slower, more consistent and controlled rate of pour, both of which are very helpful in achieving a precise, prolonged extraction.
Second, the stainless steel construction and large 1 liter capacity contribute toward keeping up the brew temperature for the duration of the entire brew cycle.
Third, the ergonomics involved in the design of the kettle help to make using it much easier. This may not seem like much, but if you're brewing large batches of coffee and pouring for three or more minutes per batch, doing several batches of coffee will quickly become a chore if your kettle doesn't cooperate with you.
Combine all of these facets with the fact that the Buono is manufactured by Hario, a very popular name in the coffee-brewing community, and the kettle's popularity is easily understood. For best results, combine the Buono with a V60 Dripper or Chemex to get a truly exceptional cup of coffee.
For most companies it's hard to find motivation for pushing out new products if you find yourself on top already. This is not, however, the case with La Marzocco. The Italian based espresso machine manufacturer continues to push the envelop when it comes to innovations in espresso machine technology. The newest line from La Marzocco continues their progression in the specific areas of temperature stability and pressure profiling. We've discussed the Strada Electronic Paddle version in detail in our Strada EP blog post and listing for the 2 Group Strada EP. The Strada Mechanical Paddle employs technology similar to the Mechanical Paddles on other La Marzocco models but with a few new features including individual pressure gauges, digital PID control, and dedicated group boilers.
$449.00The Baratza Vario looks much like Baratza's other offerings (i.e., the Encore, Virtuoso, and Preciso) in regard to silhouette, footprint, and general design. Those who've used them extensively, however, know that there's far more than mere nomenclature that separates the Vario from its brethren. Practically speaking, it has shown to give a consistently uniform and desirable grind for the full grind spectrum, all the way from espresso to press pot, something no other non-commercial grinder currently out on the market can boast. It is a highly efficient machine, wasting very little in the way of coffee grounds, but it shines in its ability to produce excellent espresso, shot after shot after shot, a feature aided by the three timed dosing presets it allows the user to store and recall at the push of a button.